Year A: Fifth Sunday of Easter
Gospel: John 14: 1-12
Today’s Gospel moves us away from the events around the time of the resurrection and begin to look ahead to the Ascension - Jesus’ return to the Father.
John records these conversations in a part of his Gospel called the “Last Discourse” - the lengthy final conversation just before Jesus is given over to death. It is likely that it did not all happen at once - but that John collected sayings of Jesus that had been offered to the disciples over a period of time. These words were words of promise which the disciples could not understand - until the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection had taken place.
He opens with the words: Do not let you hearts be troubled - trust in God and trust in Me.
In the events surrounding Jesus’ death, faith and hope were stretched to breaking point - and the disciples forgot that Jesus had said that He had to leave them - that He was going to prepare a place for them - but that he would return.
The disciples cannot understand - how can they follow when they don’t know the way. Jesus’ answer is not altogether helpful - at least without knowledge of His death and resurrection. “I am the Way - the Truth and the Life” By passing through death and into new life, Jesus has prepared the Way for us - He becomes the Way for us
The disciples are even more confused by Jesus’ saying that anyone who has seen Him has seen the Father. They want something more tangible... to see the Father for themselves and then they will be satisfied.
Human nature being what it is, that probably is not the case. We are never satisfied - and faith is not about satisfying our curiosity - but providing food for the journey - inspiring us to set our eyes on a goal we cannot see but which we know in faith to be there.
Jesus does not even attempt to satisfy the disciples - but calls on them to go deeper within themselves and ask searching question: Don’t you believe that I am in the Father - and that the Father is in Him? They have to look inside themselves for the answer - do they believe? But Jesus ends with a promise - because He is going to the Father, anyone who can answer that question with a “yes” will do great things...even greater than the things He Himself did.
What does it mean for me?
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